Thursday, March 23, 2017

Walden--Close Reading Activity

(The Language of Literature, American Literature, McDougal Littell)

Turn to page 381 in the textbook. Read background material to Walden. Consider the literary terms listed below (first look them up and write the definitions). As you read Walden, try to find an example of each term (cite page and beginning of quote). Explain as best you can the effectiveness of Thoreau's use of that rhetorical device. How does his using the particular technique enrich your reading of the text? You will refer to your notes during class discussion.

Keep all notes in your binder. They may be checked at any time for a grade.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Freshman English--Timeline for Research Paper on Tolerance

Scholars: Pay attention to the following due dates. Each part of the assignment is a grade. If you do not have it on the day it is due, you receive a grade of zero. Plan ahead. A good technique is to suppose in your head that the actual due date is two days prior to what I have posted below. In this way, you will be prepared for unforeseen problems--printing, etc. Always be organized. Do not procrastinate. Chunk the work. Do a little bit each day. Create a list for yourself as to what you should do each day in order to meet the deadlines.

Freshman English--Important Links for Tolerance Research Paper, Due May 2nd

Ms. Rohrbach's Tolerance Research Paper Website:

Freshman English--Sample Opening Paragraph for Research Paper on Tolerance Followed by Thoughts During the Writing Process and Ideas for Body of the Essay

Love and Peace, David Burliuk (1914)
Scholars: Below is a sample opening paragraph for a research paper that focuses on religious intolerance. Read the paragraph and then read about how I developed my ideas.

Freshman English--Research Paper (Synthesis Essay) on Tolerance, Due May 2nd

The Song of Love, Rene Magritte (1948)

A central theme of this course is Tolerance.  Whenever we read and discuss something in class, you should keep this theme in mind.  Ask yourself:  How can I relate the ideas in this text or discussion to the theme of Tolerance?  Write down key quotes and ideas throughout the semester.  Cite page numbers where you find your information.  In your notes, write a large "T" in the margin next to the "Tolerance" ideas. 

FSA Reading Item Stems

The information in this document was excerpted from the Draft of Grades 9-10 English Language Arts Item Specifications that is posted on the Florida Department of Education website. A few of the Item Stems were created by me. You may find it useful to have students use the sample Item Stems to create questions for what they are reading in class.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FSA Reading Question Types

(Information from Florida DOE website)

Hot Text items require the student to either click on a response option or drag a response option to another location. In the drag-a-response option, the student may be given five possible responses, for example. The student then must click on and drag one or more responses to a space in a chart, list, or graphic organizer. Hot Text items may also require students to select/highlight details from a text (words, phrases, or sentences). Some Hot Text items are two part. For example, Part A asks the student, "Which is a theme of the passage?" and Part B asks the student, "Which detail supports the development of the theme in Part A?"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

FSA ELA Argumentative Essay Prompt--Strategies for Responding

Writing Prompt:
(from the Florida Department of Education website)

It’s no secret that sometimes great discoveries come as a result of really big mistakes. But are they always worth the problems they cause? Sometimes the mistakes lead to greatness, and sometimes they lead to disaster. Are mistakes key to making discoveries?

More Advice on Writing the FSA ELA Argumentative Essay

Some teachers are resistant to a "formula" for writing an essay. My approach is practical, and I hope, logical. Young writers struggle with the steps involved in writing an essay. I offer "formulas,"; my suggestions are starting points for those who feel helpless and do not know how to structure their writing. This formulaic writing is simply a roadmap. When you feel more comfortable and become more sophisticated writers, you may move away from this approach/structure. A formulaic approach is a good skeleton and this method lessens student anxiety.

Additional Recommendations for Responding to the Argumentative Prompt for the FSA ELA with Helpful Links

Guidelines for Responding to an Argumentative Prompt

The format of the argumentative prompt on the English Assessment resembles the one below (see italics). Familiarize yourself with the wording and requirements:

FSA ELA--Thinking Process for Responding to the FSA Informative/Explanatory Writing Prompt

Thinking, Nicholas Roerich (1918)
The DOE sample prompt reads as follows:

FSA ELA--Important Information

(Some changes need to be made for the 2016-2017 year.)

The information below was excerpted from the Florida Department of Education website. First, check out the following links for a calendar of important testing dates:

Grades 9-11 FSA Writing Assessment

Grades 9–10 English Language Arts Item Specifications
Florida Standards Assessments
Text-based Writing Stimulus and Prompt Guidelines 

FSA ELA Brainstorming and Planning for Answering the Writing Prompt (Prewriting)

Brainstorming/Planning Strategies for Answering the FSA ELA Writing Prompt—
Note Taking While You Read and Highlight

Know that this prompt requires you to plan and revise. You will be given a sheet of paper to take notes. All good writing requires planning. Below are some suggestions for the reading, note-taking, and planning process:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

FSA ELA Argumentative Essay--Additional Advice

The following opinions are mine, not necessarily those of the DOE. 
  • The rubric for the Argumentative Essay on the DOE website does not address the issue of whether students are allowed to include their own original examples to support their thesis. The rubric does state that students must reference all of the sources, however. I suggest that you refer only to the accompanying texts included with the prompt for your examples/support. Be sure to elaborate sufficiently with at least three sentences, demonstrating your thinking/logic. The test is timed; including original examples, while creative and insightful on your part, may take too much time. In addition, it is not clear at this point if your own examples will detract from your final grade, even if you include references to all the accompanying texts.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

AP English--Reasons for the Decline of Puritanism in the Colonies

A Rainy Day in Boston, Childe Hassam (1885)

Handwrite these notes and place in your binder.

1. The Salem Witch Trials caused a lack of confidence in Puritan authority.

2. Younger generations of very religious people often tend to be not as strictly religious as their parents.

3. There were opportunities for westward expansion and new land.  The Puritans began to spread out. The Puritan communities became less cohesive or “tight.”